As seen in this photo, on Thursday Philip Glass was inducted in the Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.
On Friday night, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra kicked off its season with Glass' Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists. I love how whenever this piece is played people are shocked at what a showstopper it is! Here is a clandestine video of the crowd's reaction. Good stuff and the reviews agree with me.
Down south in Mobile Alabama,the Mobile Symphony and violinist Bella Hristova opened their season with a performance of the first Glass Violin Concerto which seems to have been a big artistic success as well.
And in Brooklyn, I attended a very interesting performance of Glass' chamber opera In The Penal Colony. I know the piece well so it was nice to hear it live for the first time. The two singers, tenor Jason Papowitz and bass Matt Boehler performed very well. Directed by Sam Helfrich, it wasn't truly a staged performance by any measure. Though the singers inhabited the roles, they did so in front of music stands with no costumes or props.
The String Orchestra of Brooklyn,"The SOB", under Eli Spindel performed very well. The opera is scored for string quintet but against capitalistic convention, the SOB performed with a string orchestra 27 members strong. Obviously it was nice to hear the lusher sound, and the low strings really dug into this very dark piece. However, Spindel and Company managed to keep all the tempi as they should be in the chamber version. All in all, with two strong voices all of it came together beautifully.